Renee Erickson and her Sea Creatures restaurant group opened their latest restaurant, Willmott’s Ghost, inside the Amazon Spheres this morning. The all-day cafe melds a few Italian traditions, with dishes from different regions, including pastries, Roman-style pizza, apertivi (essentially Italian happy hour), and dinner. It’s an exciting addition to Sea Creatures’ already-strong portfolio of restaurants, which includes winners like Bateau, the Whale Wins, and the Walrus and the Carpenter.
Design wise, Willmott’s Ghost (2100 6th Ave) looks like the cheerful foil to Erickson’s Deep Dive, her dramatic, dimly-lit bar, also inside the Spheres. Willmott’s Ghost uses a mint, pink, and gold color palette, and plenty of natural light washes in from the building’s glass-and-steel exoskeleton. There’s also a seasonal garden patio here, which seats 28.
Willmott’s Ghost marks the chef’s first full-fledged foray into Italian cuisine, though it seems to be a natural evolution of Barnacle, her little Italian aperitivo bar next door to her renowned Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard. Erickson studied in Rome in college, and has said she’s drawing inspiration from the country where she first fell in love with food.
The menu is built of classics from around Italy, with hand-pulled mozzarella, fried rice balls called arancini, fire-roasted vegetables, steaks, and Roman-style pizza that can be ordered by the slice and taken to-go. Happy hour will run from Monday through Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m., with Erickson’s take on apertivi, Italy’s tradition of afternoon snacks — like fried bites and cured meats — paired with fried bites and cured meats from Italy’s aperitivo tradition to go with spritzes and negronis. Erickson brought in Ben Campbell, from Ben’s Bread, to create the pizza dough, pastries, and foccacia.
Willmott’s Ghost patrons can take advantage of free parking on nights and weekends — i.e., when the offices are closed — in Amazon’s neighboring Doppler and Day 1 buildings.
This latest opening caps off a huge 12 months for Erickson and company, who have also taken their General Porpoise Doughnuts to Los Angeles, purchased Westward, Great State Burger, and Saint Helens from Huxley Wallace Collective, and opened the employees-only Rana e Respo in the Spheres.
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- Renee Erickson Grows Her Empire With Three Josh Henderson Restaurants [ESEA]
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- Sea Creatures [Official]